Friday, November 14, 2008
Check out the seven-page, 63-item questionnaire that the Obama transition team is requiring prospective cabinet members and other high-level officials to fill out. Item 10 is quite a problem for bloggers:
10. Writings: Please list and, if readily available, provide a copy of each book, article, column or publication (including but not limited to any posts or comments on blogs or other websites) you have authored, individually or with others. ...
Since I have made over 12,000 posts on TaxProf Blog, complying with this requirement would be an onerous chore. My saucy emails and text messages to my wife also would get me in trouble:
13. Electronic communications: If you have ever sent an electronic communication, including but not limited to email, text message or instant message, that could suggest a conflict of interest or be a possible source of embarrassment to you, your family, or the President-Elect if it were made public, please describe.
Here are the tax portions of the questionnaire:
V. Tax Information
33. Please furnish a copy of each federal and state (and, if applicable, municipal or foreign) tax return, including any amended return, for 2005 and all subsequent years. [For John McCain:] If filed separately, furnish the same documents for your spouse.
34. Have you and your spouse filed all required federal, state, local and foreign income tax returns?
35. Have you or your spouse ever filed a late tax return without a valid extension? If so, describe the circumstances and resolution of the matter.
36. Have you ever paid any tax penalties? If so, describe the circumstances and the resolution of the matter.
37. Has a tax lien or other collection procedure ever been instituted against you or your spouse by federal, state or local authorities? If so, describe the circumstances and the resolution of the matter.
38. Have you ever not paid U.S. and/or state income taxes because you were not resident in the United States, or for any other reason?
39. Have you ever been or do you have any expectation that you will be the subject of any tax, financial, or other audit or inquiry? if so, please describe.
40. Have you ever participated in any investment program or partnership which has been audited or investigated by federal, state or local authorities. if so, describe the circumstances and the resolution of the matter.
VII. Domestic Help
53. Do you presently have or have you in the best had occasional (to be sure, a monthly housekeeper is covered) or regular domestic help? (e.g., a housekeeper, babysitter, nanny, or gardener) if yes, please indicate the name and years of service of each individual and also provide a brief description of the services rendered.
54. [For Mitt Romney:] Were all individuals listed in Question  legally eligible to do work in the U.S. at the time you employed them?
55. Have you paid all taxes and social security obligations applicable to the employment of the individuals listed in Question ? Do you use an outside service to pay such individuals? Have all payments related to the employment of these individuals been made in a timely fashion? If not, please identify the length and reason for the delay(s).
56. have you complied with all federal, state and local laws and regulations related to the employment of individuals listed in Question ?